Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Shrek Tour Dream Team

There are only 8 more performances for the Shrek Tour dream team at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

More importantly that means you have just 1 week left to catch the UK's #1 leading lady in the Midlands before she heads back to Bonny Scotland for the next leg of the tour in Glasgow.

You may remember I featured a video from theatre blogger Amy Stutz earlier this month. Here is her review of the show where she tells us that Faye is a far better Fiona than Amanda Holden and Kimberley Walsh who played the role in the West End.

No surprise there. She outshone Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods and is simply perfect as Princess Fiona.


Once upon a time in a land far away lived a well known Ogre that we all know and love, the charming and hilarious tale has been taken from screen to stage to create the spectacular Shrek The Musical. Last night was the second show at the Hippodrome and it was electric, roars of laughter echoed in the audience as the humour from the film is amplified in the hilariously outstanding show.

The musical brings the story to life as it delves deeper into the storyline producing a much more developed version of the film. It takes you back in time to Shrek and Fiona’s childhood, the characters appear inside a giant storybook as the adorable young Shrek and Fiona are sent away by their parents at the age of seven. Shrek is told to “go away” and live in the swamp which he later calls home and Fiona is banished to a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon until a prince comes to rescue her.

The show’s vibrancy is created by the enormous set and beautiful costumes that change in the blink of an eye. Whether it’s the towering castle, the huge menacing dragon or Shrek’s swamp, the scenes swiftly change in seconds capturing the magic of the show.

Yesterday I was taken on a backstage tour and I witnessed the enormity of the set, props and costume backstage. The quick changes in the show have to be executed rapidly as Fiona has a mere 50 seconds to transform from the beautiful princess to the green ogre. Thousands of pounds have been spent on the intricacy of the costumes, each fairytale character is portrayed perfectly through the use of costume and make up, not a single detail was overlooked when it came to designing each character’s image.

Dean Chisnall who played the title role of Shrek captured the character perfectly, he was loveable yet his sarcasm and wit had the audience in fits of laughter. Not to mention his powerful and faultless vocals that were highlighted in the more touching moments of the show, I had goosebumps as he sang the finale of the first act Who I’d Be making it my favourite number in the show.

Faye Brookes who played Fiona had immaculate stage presence, her energy never dipped as she portayed the fiesty Fiona as a strong sassy princess. Fiona is a character famous for being played by celebrities such as Amanda Holden and Kimberley Walsh but Faye Brookes blew them out of the water. Her flawless singing and vivacity created an exceptional performance.

Idriss Kargbo’s  played the flamboyant role of Donkey. I thought it would be hard to beat Eddie Murphy, who is well known for playing Donkey in the film, however Idriss moulded the character in his own way. His character was original and he mastered the dynamic energy of the role exquisitely. His brilliant comedy seemed effortless and for such a young performer his characterisation was sensational.

Gerard Carey had the challenging role of the pint sized Lord Farquard. What made the role challenging was that he performed on his knees throughout the show to create the illusion that he was very small which was highly entertaining. His portrayal of the character was remarkable and had the audience bursting with laughter.

Every single one of the cast members were outstanding and I was particularly impressed with Candace Furbert who was the voice of the dragon as her vocals were utterly breathtaking. Josh Prince’s choreography was incredible, his huge dazzling dance numbers made the show the spectacle that it is.

I absolutely adored the show, it was brilliantly cast and had me smiling from ear to ear throughout the entirety of the performance. I really loved the way they poked fun at other musicals and it was an unforgettable show that I just want to watch over and over again.

I’d recommend this show to people of all ages and it’s a musical that is not to be missed. Shrek is on at the Hippodrome until the 26th of April.

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